Parish meeting was painful

Vicar of Dibley this was not. The Felpham Parish Council public meeting held last night to discuss whether to commission a poll on putting Church Field into the conservation area was a shambolic mess.

No agenda, no clear process for us to follow, no PA so we could hear anyone speak.

The vice chair and clerk to the council sat at the front, powerless to control the interminable interruptions of people from the floor with points of view frankly divorced from anything to do with the purpose of the meeting. The three-minute rule – the only rule openly stated as far as I could hear – was breached at least twice by the chair of the parish council to argue the case against.

It was like a street brawl with everyone shouting across and over everybody else.

I cannot recollect a more painful meeting I have attended. In the end the parish council wanted to avoid a poll (mainly due to very strong feeling in the hall about this costing an extra £1 per person to organise), and they would finally support the case for putting Church Field in the conservation area after all... at its next committee meeting, when raised by Geoff Farrell.

Why didn’t the parish council simply do that in the first place! It would have saved us all from attending probably the worst example of local political meetings: ‘no, no, no... yes’.

Mark Searle

Links Avenue